Death threat against Twice’s Mina latest in crimes targeting K-pop stars

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Jun 14, 2017 - 14:18
  • Updated : Jun 14, 2017 - 14:33

The internet was abuzz Tuesday at news that a death threat was made online against Twice’s Mina Miyoui.

The unidentified person had posted a photo of a wrist and a knife, saying he or she would violently murder Mina if she did not mutilate her supposed boyfriend.

It was later revealed to have been a practical joke of extremely poor taste. But JYP Entertainment said there will be ”no mercy” for the perpetrator and vowed legal action in what is the latest in a long line of crimes against Korea’s idol singers. 

Mina of Twice (JYP Entertainment)

K-pop‘s biggest stars have been threatened before.

In April, IU said she planned to pursue legal actions against a local YouTuber for sexual harassment. The YouTuber in question made sexual comments about the female singer, comparing her to his dog in the videos.

IU’s agency Fave Entertainment pledged “strong response without mercy.”

The offenders most often offer the excuse that they were merely joking.

The offender in the IU case said he was a fan and the comments had been taken out of context. His words and supposed apology, however, were muddled by a more recent video of him licking IU’s photo attached to a liquor bottle.

The person who threatened Mina also posted an apology and said the disturbing post was made “just to become popular” online, and that he or she had not regarded the fear it would cause the victim.

In a 2006 ruling, the Supreme Court clarified that the perpetrator’s actual intent or carrying out of the threat was not necessary to constitute a threat. This means that it is possible for the aforementioned internet user to be convicted regardless of whether or not he or she had actually intended to harm Mina.

Making threats is punishable by up to three years in prison or 5 million won ($4,440) in fines, according to Korean law.

Sometimes a death threat goes beyond simple internet trolling.

In March, an unidentified person claimed he or she would shoot Jimin of boy band BTS to death during the band’s concert in California, along with a detailed layout of the seats and a picture of a gun. Although nothing happened at the venue, the incident had BTS and fans alike on edge.

Later in the month, a man was caught secretly videotaping Yerin of K-pop group GFriend during a fan meeting.

Unlike in the past when singers and their agencies attempted to address such issues quietly -- due to concerns about their public image -- more celebrities are now taking firm stances against ill-intended and often illegal actions against them.

Group Apink’s Plan A Entertainment agency last month said it had filed criminal charges against internet users who posted malicious comments about member Son Na-eun.

Plan A said Apink will no longer put up with such slander “because they are celebrities,” and filed charges against commenters as a “severe warning to those who insult others without an iota of guilt.” 

By Yoon Min-sik